Life span: 9-10 Years
Height: 8inches (male), 7 inches (female)
Weight: 7- 12 lbs. (male), 7- 12 lbs. (female)
Originating in China, the small-sized breed, known as the Pekingese, has been in existence for centuries. In fact, the Pekingese was named after the city of Peking, which has since been renamed Beijing, and it has been featured in Chinese artwork dating all the way back to the 8th century. The breed has a long mane of hair that surrounds it adorable face, giving it the nickname “Little Lion”.
Their ears are small and fall down, with a medium sized tail that curls over its back. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their double coat is made up of a dense undercoat, and a straight and long overcoat that is rough to the touch. Coat colors include black, grey, brown, light brown, and cream colored.
It is believed that the breed was the result of a crossbreeding between the “lion” dogs, which were also called Pelchie or Shishi dogs, and another breed that is unknown. People believed that these dogs were magical and could protect temples, so they were kept within palaces and stealing one meant death. When their owners died, the dog was euthanized and buried with them, and while alive, the dogs had their own personal servants. During the 8th century, the Pekingese followed their steps, and were kept within palace grounds at all times. In 1860, during the Opium Wars, the breed was discovered by people outside of the palaces during a raid of the Imperial Summer Palace, where they saw 5 Pekingese and brought them to Queen Victoria in Britain. They became highly popular, but also very expensive given that they were so rare. Due to this, only the wealthy owned them. They were called Sleeve Pekingese, since they were carried in the sleeves of the royal robes worn at the palaces. In 1906, it was accepted into the American Kennel Club.
This courageous little dog thinks it is way bigger than it is and will fight anyone, regardless of their size, if they believe their family is in danger. This makes them great watchdogs, but also loud dogs and their courage might get them hurt. They can be stubborn at times, but they like pleasing their owners. They get along well with older children, but are not tolerant with younger ones, and they get along well with other household pets as long as they are introduced properly.
This breed may suffer from many diseases, including:
Brachycephalic Syndrome, which is a disorder in which their airways are obstructed, causing them to have a noisy or labored breathing, and sometimes their airways completely collapse. There are many treatments that vary depending on the severeness.
Cataracts, in which the lens of the eye clouds, causing partial or complete loss of vision.
Cleft Palate, a disease that causes an abnormal opening on the roof of the puppy’s mouth and can be surgically corrected at 4 months old.
Cryptorchidism, in which one or both testicles may not descend, meaning the testicle will not be functional and may eventually cause cancer.
Distichiasis, which causes an additional row of eyelashes to appear along the edge of the eyelid, causing irritation of the eye. It can be corrected through surgery.
Ectopic Cilia, in which extra eyelashes grow inside through the eyelid, irritating the eye and eventually causing corneal ulcers.
Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).
Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome, which has several causes, is when the cornea is exposed, causing difficulty to blink and tear evaporation and may eventually lead to blindness.
Fold dermatitis, which is a skin infection that can be caused by moisture in the skin folds and can be noticed through odor, sores and/or redness on the infected area.
Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, causing pressure on it. There can be many causes and although it can be tested through ultrasound, it has no cure, but can be treated to reduce the pressure. It can be noticed through a swollen head.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, or dry eye, is caused by an autoimmune reaction to the tear glands that causes lack of tears, and can lead to blindness.
Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.
Mitral Valve Disease, which may be common in older dogs, but can happen in young dogs in rare cases. It consists of a heart murmur that increases until it provokes heart failure. It happens when the mitral valve begins to fail, preventing the blood flow into the left atrium.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Intervertebral Disc Disease, in which the discs that separate the spine bones degenerate, causing pain and back problems.
This breed should be brushed weekly. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are very low energy, but still need daily exercise, preferably in the form of short walks.Training them can be easy, given that they are calm and love to please their owners.